Clarets won’t be fearful of Chelsea - Keane

Defender Michael Keane insists the Clarets aren’t fearful of their trip to Stamford Bridge at the weekend.
Defender Michael Keane tussles with former Claret Charlie Austin against QPR at Loftus Road earlier in the seasonDefender Michael Keane tussles with former Claret Charlie Austin against QPR at Loftus Road earlier in the season
Defender Michael Keane tussles with former Claret Charlie Austin against QPR at Loftus Road earlier in the season

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea XI, which has been assembled at a cost of £199.5m, could move 10 points clear of rivals Manchester City in the Premier League title race tomorrow with Manuel Pellegrini’s champions set to tackle Newcastle United at the Etihad in the evening.

The Blues, fresh from a 1-1 draw in their Champions League last 16 tie with PSG at Parc des Princes midweek, haven’t lost a league game on home soil in 10 months since Sunderland upset the odds.

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However, the 22-year-old has taken great heart from recent performances against Liverpool, City and Manchester United. “Our best performances this season are against the best teams,” he said.

“Going into these next games we’ll have a lot of confidence and we know if we play well like we keep doing we’ll cause a lot of problems for any team.

“If you look at games in the past few months I think whenever we’ve played against the top sides we’ve maybe put in our best performances so going on to this next run of games we’ve got nothing to be afraid of. If we keep playing like we have been doing then I’m sure we’ll pick up a few results.”

While Keane has been buoyed by the club’s latest displays, the England Under 21 international believes his team-mates can learn from his former employers following the 3-1 loss at Old Trafford.

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“We could’ve won, never mind a draw, we played really well,” he said. “We’ve went to the biggest stadium in the league and put on a great performance. If we’d have gone away with a win I don’t think anyone could have complained.

“But I think that’s happening too many times at the minute. United are the opposite, they’re not playing great but they’re getting results. We need to maybe get a bit of that in our game.”

He added: “We’re proud of how we’re playing, there’s been a lot of growth in this team and you can see that from the way we’re performing week in week out.”

Meanwhile, the defender heaped praise on in demand striker Danny Ings after the Liverpool and Real Sociedad target netted his ninth goal of the term. Keane feels the form of his team-mate could be the difference between survival and relegation for the Clarets.

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“He’s unbelievable at the minute,” he said. “He’s obviously a great goalscorer and his all-round play is unbelievable as well, his touch and the way he holds the ball up.

“Hopefully he’ll keep doing that for us and if we can keep him scoring goals then we’ll have a good chance.

“Ingsy is definitely just as good as the strikers who are in the England squad, especially at the minute with the way he’s playing and the way the team is playing around him. If he does get a call-up it won’t be undeserved.”

Keane added: “We need to keep getting the ball in to him and Barnesy, and Vokesy and whoever else comes on, and hopefully we will score enough goals.

“But at the minute our problem is not scoring goals, it’s conceding silly goals and we need to cut that out.”